The Exeter Village Board met on Monday, February 4 with a full audience including members of Girl Scout Troop 20703.
The board approved the minutes and invoices with Chairman Alan Michl bring to attention, “Our electric bill is $400- $500 cheaper with the new streetlights.”
The board passed Resolution 19-03 approving the one and six year road plan.
A representative from Caterpillar was present to answer any questions about the lease to own plan for the mini excavator.
Michl informed the board that Caterpillar will no longer allow a one year lease on the equipment and instead has a four to seven year term with an added warranty policy.
Several board members commented on the essential nature of the equipment even though last year the unit was only used for 31 hours. Michl added, “Basically we want to purchase it, we just need to decide on the terms.”
The board chose to do a five year lease at $7509 per year.
Terri Volkmer approached the board asking to add a driveway off of Maplewood to extend her current driveway into a u shaped. She has a culvert to put in. Board quickly approved the additional driveway request.
The board received a request from the post prom committee and donated $100 out of Keno funds.
Exeter Librarian Lynette Trauger gave her annual report. She discussed updates planned to Storybook park including a chain link fence. “I plan on having summer activities out there but I only have two eyes so we want to keep them contained in the park.”
Trauger reported she is working toward attaining her library certification and plans to have it completed in the next year.
The board approved the summer help applications of Tara Mueller in the maintenance department, Katie Mounce as the pool manager and returning lifeguards Josie Kresak, Anna Sluka, Jaiden Papik and Kayla Geiger. New lifeguards hired were Kate Jansky, Cammie Harrison and Victoria Androyna.
Next on the agenda was a discussion regarding an ongoing zoning violation in the village. Board member Justin Harre and Clerk Becky Erdkamp reported on their interaction with the building owner. Currently the owner is looking for someone who wants the structure or they will tear down the structure and salvage the materials.
Board member Kathy Erdkamp commented “If we give them to May 1 surely there would be enough dry days they could move it?”
The board decided to have Village Attorney Charles Campbell notify the owner that they have 90 days to move the barn.
Michl noted that there was a request from the League of Municipalities for photos of nuisance properties within the village as there is a bill in the Nebraska Legislature that would allow communities within the state to form landbanks to help them get rid of dilapidated properties.
Community members could donate to the landbank and then the community could use the funds to purchase dilapidated properties, clean up the properties and then sell the empty lot and the funds would return to the landbank to be reinvested in similar projects.
Michl reported that Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller had photographed the properties in the village. Clerk Erdkamp added that Village Attorney Charlie Campbell advised that the village needs to have some sort of building inspector appointed. This would be the starting point in the process.
“My goal would be to deal with the houses where no one is living,” added Michl, “There are some abandoned houses that need to be taken care of.”
Although Officer Shawn Gray was not able to be at the meeting Clerk Erdkamp gave an update on the department including the fact that the assault rifle the village currently owns can only be legally sold to another law enforcement agency.
The garbage issue on Maplewood has not yet been dealt with but Michl and Mueller plan to remove the trash when the weather is better. Michl also noted that he met the new officer hired in Friend who will be assisting in Exeter.
The board held a lengthy discussion on the current situation with law enforcement in the community.
Mueller presented the annual water usage report. He noted that prior to installing meters the total water used every month was 50 – 76 million gallons. With the water meters installed, usage in the last year was down by over half at 25.5 million gallons.
Mueller noted that he had ordered the new shades for the pool and also identified 31 street signs that need to be redone. He reported that he had used temporary steel tubes on the new road but now he will need to put in real culverts.
Clerk Erdkamp reported that the sales tax for November was $15,209.75 and Keno for December was $652.44. The village received a $500 donation from JEO to purchase new banners to decorate the 14 new lightpoles. Board members looked at several options.
Before adjourning the board set the next meeting for Tuesday, March 5.